Monday, 26 August 2013

Failing so hard and so consistently that the words that come to mind are nesting and recursive.
So I'm just going to go with The Only Failed Experiment Is One You Don't Learn From, and reclassify the whole week as a series of staggering successes.

First, it turns out the wind turbine is waaay too intense to do as a one day workshop where everyone takes one home.
The materials I managed to get sorted, tho that was largely the luck of stumbling over a guy with a couple hundred bikes in his garage and a strong desire to extract nine of the wheels I needed and sell me them cheap.
It ended up seventeen participants instead of the intended twelve, but even with the extra hands there was just never any chance of getting that much work done in that timeframe. Seems things take two to three times longer to make in a workshop dynamic, and that's with folks working pretty solidly.
Live and learn.
So am now looking for a venue to have a second day of it on Saturday and get everything finished off. Figure in future it'll be like I did the Solarflower builds; where we just as a group make one of the thing.

And fail the second; in that I'll be hitching down to Christchurch soon as the workshop's done on Saturday, I've basically run out of time to get the alternator nicely attached to the turbine and tested for output.
The chain drive is I think a good way forward, but tried revving up the benchtop test rig today, powered by the vacuum cleaner motor (with a derailleur sprocket driving a chain driving a bike wheel rim bolted to another wheel driving a chain driving a derailleur sprocket attached to the alternator) and it all kind of exploded a bit. And often.
The derailleur is too small (tho it needs to be that size or smaller to get a high enough ratio to kick in the alt at 1500 rpm), the teeth are too short, and it's made from nylon which just isn't going to hold up for long. You can get metal ones, but having to order them on the internet kind of defeats the purpose of what I'm trying to do.
So I think I'll end up chucking a sprocket set in there somewhere as a wee gearbox, have the rim driving that and it driving a 50mm small but steel sprocket on the alternator. That'll give me about 30:1 instead of 15, and be a bunch more robust.
But I don't have the time to get that in place before Saturday, so it can just go on the worryingly long and lengthening list of things to do in Australia.

Also, I broke a glass.

But screw it, leaving NZ isn't a deadline, prototypes (of which the workshop was one) explode until they don't, and I know many more ways in which things don't function than when I arrived.
And a couple in which they kinda do.

1 comment:

  1. Hopefully the author didn't get hurt during turbine testing